Study Notes: Matthew 9:14-36
9:14-15 The Bridegroom Will Be Taken Away
John the Baptists followers had focused in on turning from sin. This meant frequent denial of their flesh, and practicing the resisting of temptations by denying themselves food. The Pharisees also fasted, although their intention was not self-denial, but simply for the purpose of appearing righteous. Whichever group you looked at, it would appear that good religion meant difficulty and discomfort for religious people.
But Jesus disciples had not been instructed to fast. Why not? He explains that while He is around them, it is to be a time of joy, not fasting. The day would come when He would be killed, and that would be the proper time to fast.
This was unheard of to Johns disciples, and to the Pharisees. Jesus is now going to use the occasion to point out that He wasnt just another religious leader in a long line of religious leaders. He was someone and something entirely new...
9:16-17 New Wineskins
Jesus wasnt just another patch on an old religious system. God was doing something entirely new. The Jews had gotten so locked in to their religion, that they had lost relationship with God. They had made themselves impossible to be used by God in a new way.
Saints, this is so important for us to understand. If we ever stop being flexible to be led by the Spirit of God, if we get rigidly locked into saying, Weve always done it this way before. Thats outside of our comfort zone, then well cease to be used by the Lord and Hell move on to some other group that is flexible and pliable.
9:18-19 The Synagogue Official
Fortunately, it was not every one of the Jews that was too brittle to allow Jesus to do His new thing. When a synagogue officials daughter lay on her deathbed, he realized in his terrible time of trauma that Jesus was his only answer.
Jesus agrees to go to his house. But first, an interruption...
9:20-22 The Woman With The Hemorrhage
The crowds were surrounding Jesus, jostling Him as He was on His way to the officials house. One woman in particular is focused on here. For a dozen years, shed suffered from hemorrhaging. Some afflictions just arent appropriate to discuss publicly. But you might imagine her suffering when the gospel of Mark tell us that she...
Mark 5:26 ...had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse
She also knew that Jesus was her only hope. If she could just get near Him, touch even the edge of His coat, she knew she would get well. And she did.
9:23-26 Healing Jairus Daughter
After stopping to talk with the woman, Jesus continues on His way to the officials house. Mark also tells us that Jesus told him,
Mark 5:36 ...Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.
Jesus gets to the officials house, and sees the noisy crowd outside of the house. In our day, when someone dies, we hire funeral homes to perform the expected duties. In Bible days, the first people you hired when someone died were the mourners. They would make lots of noise weeping and wailing, and playing dirges on musical instruments.
But when Jesus told them to leave because the girl wasnt really dead, they showed their lack of emotional attachment: they started to laugh.
Jesus entered the house and raised the girl from the dead.
9:27-31 Healing The Blind Men
Jesus kept moving, and people kept following. When two blind men cried out for mercy, Jesus didnt stop immediately, but He had heard their cries. In His timing, not theirs, He asked them if they had faith. When they said they did, Jesus healed them, saying,
Matt. 9:29 ...It shall be done to you according to your faith.
Just like the woman with the hemorrhaging problem, they were healed by God because of their faith.
Many people complain that God never does anything to make them believe. But in the Bible, we see that God does things for people who do believe.
Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
God will reward you if you seek Him with faith. He is asking you to first believe, as He told the synagogue official.
9:32-34 Casting Out Demons
Moving on again, Jesus encountered a man who was demon-possessed. Jesus cast out the demon, and the crowds were amazed.
But the Pharisees cant stand what is going on. They hate the fact that the crowds are following Jesus. They cant stand playing second fiddle to this young man who isnt one of them, comes from the wrong part of Israel, and never attended the right schools.
I cant tell you how many times Ive been the subject of derision for these kinds of things. What seminary did you graduate from? I didnt. No masters of divinity? Nope. Oh... I see. Then how would you possibly know what to teach? I teach the Bible, plain and simple.
I get a lot flack for falling short of many of these religious requirements. But the Bible says, Hey, look at the fruit. People are gathering here. People get the Word here. And people get saved here. Cant argue with that, can you?
Ah, but you can. Just take the Pharisees route. Take what God is doing, and blame the devil.
Matt. 9:34 ...He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.
9:35 Keep Ministering
Jesus gave it no heed, He just kept moving and ministering. If youre trying to please Pharisees, youll never start ministering. But if youre trying to please God, youll never stop ministering.
9:36 Sheep Without A Shepherd
In spite of the lies and gossip, Jesus kept on going. Why? Because these distressed and dispirited people were like sheep without a shepherd. He felt compassion for them and brought the good news of gospel to them.
©2006 Ron Daniel - Any distribution not for profit is permitted
All Scripture (unless otherwise indicated) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE
©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.